Trying to eat less salt? Have you been told to go on a low-salt diet? People sometimes say, “just don’t use your salt shaker and should be good.” Let’s think about that. The recommended daily allowance of sodium is 2000 mg. How much is that? Two slices of a frozen pizza contain 960 mg of sodium. Do you usually stop at 2 slices or have you eaten more than that? French fries contain 250 mg of sodium, a can of soup has up to 800 mg. A hot dog might have 500 mg sodium. These foods are processed. That means they have been changed into something entirely different. A steak comes from a cow and carrots grow in the ground. But a hot dog? It doesn’t exist in nature. If you have to think hard about where a food came from, that food is likely not nearly as nourishing as the foods you can easily name the source. Instead of worrying about the salt shaker, go back to the basics. Add more fresh vegetables and fruits to your meal. Make your favorite foods from scratch rather than buying a can, box, or package. Homemade pizza or soup can cut your sodium intake in half!
Effects of Sodium
Too much sodium in your diet may put you at greater risk for headaches, kidney disease, enlarged heart muscle, stroke, heart failure, high blood pressure, kidney stones, osteoporosis, and/or stomach cancer. Excess salt also can cause increased water retention in your body leading to puffiness, bloating, and weight gain.